It’s not shocking news that there is an increasing need for schools to provide digital, mobile, and contactless payment options to their students. Generation Z (born between 1996 -2012) now makes up a large percentage of college students. This younger generation is much more comfortable with financial technology. Tapping their credit card for a contactless transaction or hitting ‘send’ on their mobile phone to make a payment is second nature to them. Obviously, due to Covid-19, the need for cashless transactions has increased exponentially. Safely concerns have moved students and school office staff away from cash, checks, and in-person deposits. Due to social distancing regulations, many business offices are operating remotely or at reduced capacity.
So is your school ready to become a cashless business office? In a cashless office, cash payments aren’t accepted, and payment by check is minimized (usually only accepted electronically.) Electronic in-person payments are accepted by kiosk or through a similar solution.
How to Become a Cashless Business Office:
Before transitioning, your school should provide an audit of the following questions:
- List the payments and fees your school charges. Along with tuition, are there housing fees, meal plan costs, etc.? Ensure that there is a way for these to be paid digitally.
- Look at the cost/benefit analysis of cash versus digital payments. Consider the hidden fees associated with cash and check payments: trips to the bank, armored car services, bounced checks, account reconciliation, and manual input.
- Where on campus have cashless options successfully been introduced, i.e. bookstore, cafeteria, etc.? Where can cashless options be implemented?
- Determine the logistics of implementation. Which decision makers need to be involved? Which departments will be affected? What concerns do they have?
- Do some research to connect with a business partner that provides an online tuition payment platform.
- Communicate early and often with your students as to what to expect moving forward. Set a date for the cashless transition to begin and offer support for setting up an online account, etc.
With the concerns and regulations of Covid-19, now is the perfect time to consider a cashless business office if you never have done so. Moving forward, each class of incoming college students will expect more and more digital payment options. Perhaps your college is ready to make the change!